Tow truck driver assaulted in Knoxville

Tow truck driver assaulted in Knoxville

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Ron Gandy Ron Gandy
"He was bleeding real bad. He was on the ground, trying to get air," said Thomas Dozier. "He was bleeding real bad. He was on the ground, trying to get air," said Thomas Dozier.
"The slim chance this man has to live over a $75 bill is uncalled for," Lynn Waller said. "The slim chance this man has to live over a $75 bill is uncalled for," Lynn Waller said.
"We maintain a policy we don't get into altercations with people," Fountain City Wrecker Service's Chad Smith said. "We maintain a policy we don't get into altercations with people," Fountain City Wrecker Service's Chad Smith said.

KNOXVILLE (WATE) - A wrecker driver was critically injured in an assault early Monday morning as he tried to tow a car.

When officers arrived at 5:09 a.m. at the Pleasant Terrace Apartments, 4601 Pleasant Ridge Road, they found Ron Gandy, 48, with severe head wounds. The wrecker truck driver was lying on the ground next to his truck.

Police say the truck's motor was running and the Lexus he was attempting to tow was attached at the back. 

The car owner is still being sought by police. The suspect fled the scene after trying to release the car from the wrecker.

"He was bleeding real bad. He was on the ground, trying to get air," said Thomas Dozier, who lives in the apartment above the crime scene.

Witnesses told police the Lexus driver and Gandy argued over the tow fee for the car.

Police say the Lexus wasn't authorized to be on the property. Anyone who parks at the complex needs to have a parking pass.

When Gandy turned to finish hooking up the car, police say, the driver attacked him from behind.

"The gentleman offered to pay him $75 to keep from having his car towed. When Ron went to fill out the paperwork, is when he attacked him and attempted to retrieve his car," explained Lynn Waller, who helps run the wrecker service owned by Gandy.

Gandy was taken to UT Medical Center with critical injuries.

Waller says Gandy is now in a coma, fighting for his life.

He says Gandy moved to Knoxville from Texas in the 1990s and worked at several towing businesses before saving up enough to open his own business in 2005.

"The slim chance this man has to live over a $75 bill is uncalled for," Waller said.

Towing companies say incidents involving people who get very upset over their car being towed are common.

Chad Smith, with Fountain City Wrecker Service, says tow truck drivers usually just walk away from a potential confrontation and forfeit the business.

"We maintain a policy we don't get into altercations with people," Smith said. "It's best we walk away from those types of situations even if it means dropping the car for no money. There's no car worth getting injured over or killed over."

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